After surviving relegations in the spring, Team Liquid continued to struggle for the first half of the summer and stayed in the bottom of the league. This is especially dishearting for fans for TL is one of the most recognizable names in the esports scene. While Piglet's open letter to his teammates gave a glimpse into the organization's state, TL was is a disarray for some time. Fortunately, the team had a fruitful week, defeating Envy and Phoenix1. We had a chat with TL's mid laner Goldenglue to hear his thoughts on keeping positive mentality, current challenges and VaultBoy.
Team Liquid went 2-0 this week. How do you feel?
This is actually my first 2-0 I’ve ever had in LCS so it feels really great. I’ve been around so long it's really good to finally see some of the work I put in pay off.
How did you like bootcamping in Korea?
I really liked bootcamping Korea, so I went twice including going there on my own. I especially enjoyed the second time because Ever 8 Winners accepted me and treated me like one of their own. They were really nice to me, and their skill level is really high as well. I also got to learn about Korea and its culture.
Could you walk us through your training routine in Korea?
I stayed with Ever 8 and played in their room where all the players train. I played around 15-16 games a day for 4-5 weeks -- basically training all day every day. I focused a lot of on my Taliyah plays and got to face high tier LCK players like Faker, Rookie and Kuzan. It was a good learning experience for me.
Tell us about your victory celebration you had after winning the series.
I thought it would be funny. I was thinking about maybe putting on sunglasses in champion select before the game, but I decided it would be funnier after winning the set to put my sunglasses on and say something cocky to go along with the joke.
You seem keen on developing a character for yourself. Any thoughts?
I think there's a general lack of character in esports. Most players are very quiet and humble, but I’d like to have more fun. I recently watched a documentary about Muhammad Ali. He has fun while being very cocky, which makes it fun for everyone involved. That said, I think it’s equally important to be humble in victory and to keep it to yourself in defeat. As long as you're humble in victory, you can have as much fun as you want.
How do you keep a positive mentality when the team's on a losing streak and there are disparaging posts on communities?
You just can’t when you see a post like that focuses on all the negativity around your organization. I do think it’s important not to take things too seriously. Realize you have nothing to lose when you’re in last place, and it might make you play better. Trying your best is all you can do. That’s what gives me a peace of mind. As long as I know I work my hardest and play my best, then the result doesn't matter and I’m happy with myself.
What are some challenges TL is facing right now?
I think we’re still struggling to consistently and strategically snowball leads. It’s the biggest difference I see between my team and top LCK teams. I notice when I watch LCK where teams are very methodical in snowballing leads they have. On the other hand, someone from my team will randomly die or loses all their health and has to base. So, we aren't able to snowball. We're working to address those issues on the macro game.
What do you think you need to individually work on the most?
A personal thing I’m working on the most is having a good macro game and being able to keep my team calm during in-game communication. I would say one of our biggest problems is that we don’t really have a voice of reason -- everyone wants to talk a lot. I try to be is that voice in game, but it’s hard to have a single voice when you have a talkative team.
Are there any players you look up to?
When I was in Korea for bootcamp, I got to play against Faker’s Zed and Rookie’s Jayce and Syndra, both of whom I have much respect for. I look up to many of the top LCK players like Pawn, Crown and Cepted. Probably the biggest NA player I respect is Bjergsen for his skill and consistency.
Tell us about your mindset going into the last two weeks of the regular season.
My primary goal is to avoid relegations. There’s also a very small chance for us to make the playoffs. That would be the dream.